Phoenix Marketing International ("PMI") is a highly skilled group of marketers who provide market research and action plans to their clients to enable business growth. PMI has offices in New York City, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Austin, Tampa, Philadelphia, Warrington (PA), Raleigh-Durham, Branchburg (NJ), Salisbury (MD), in London and its Headquarters in Rhinebeck, NY. Cloud Construct teamed up with PMI to create a suite of dynamic client facing products to provide real-time reporting of market data, feedback, and actions.
The engagement consisted of distinct two projects: one a detailed reporting dashboard for a global Quick Service Restaurant client, and the second a tablet enabled survey system for airports around the country.
The Quick Serve Restaurant dashboard was conceived to allow data stored in Market Insights to be displayed in a custom view for client marketers to easily digest. Market Insights is a separate product that conducts surveys and records data for clients. In this scenario, survey data is collected at various QSR locations around the country, and reported in real-time through the dashboard for comparison by the client. Previously, data had to be exported from Market Insights into spreadsheets for clients to view. This was a tedious process which made it difficult to digest the information.
The project needed to create a custom process to import data from the spreadsheets, parse it, and store it in a relational database for reporting purposes. These dashboard views were to be custom and show various donut and bar charts, tabular data, and unique pivots based on client direction. The dataset was large and ever expanding, and needed to support time bound and high performance querying to minimize wait times.
This project required close collaboration with the PMI team in Boston and other offices to complete the work effectively, efficiently, and quickly. We organized our work into sprints and had weekly meetings to report progress and discuss any questions. Data was aggregated from the spreadsheets into a Microsoft SQL database and then custom ASP.NET Web API endpoints were configured to build the custom data transfer objects. These objects were formatted in JSON and support advanced filtering and sorting. we used client side Angular.js and C3/D3 charting to render the data in custom designed views.
In order to support the ongoing flow of data, Cloud Construct configured a Secure FTP endpoint for the new dashboard that allowed the PMI team to upload spreadsheets as needed to be consumed by the data processor. The data is then parsed into a temporary table and transformed into the live tables for reporting. The solution is now hosted in Windows Azure Web Apps for scalability and backed by a SQL Azure database for reliability.
The Cloud Construct and PMI teams worked together very closely to achieve a great result. User experience, visual design, and application development was completed by Cloud Construct and approved by the client. The project was executed in multiple phases because there was an abundance of data, views, and required advanced querying and filtering. The dashboard shows results from QSR surveys and let marketers know exactly how they stack up with their competitors and displays areas for improvement.
Surveys come in all different formats, sizes and interaction points. The goal of this project was to build a tablet optimized survey tool that can be used to "intercept" customers and obtain direct feedback about their current and recent experiences. This direct feedback allows managers to immediately rectify reported issues and reward positive experiences. Customers can also be incentivized to take the survey.
The first scenario for this tool to be used is in airports across the country. Employees of the airport would solicit live feedback from customers in the airport about their experiences. Areas such as Gate Check-In, Bathroom Cleanliness and Ticket Counter are all key in assuring customers have a great experience. Survey results are compiled in real-time and shown to managers in a back office setting through a dashboard. This allows a manager to dispatch an employee to an area where satisfaction was in jeopardy.
The tool has two key components. The survey portion which is viewable on a tablet, and the dashboard which comprised of advanced data views and is viewable on a web enabled PC. The survey must be easy to complete and the interaction with customers must be simple and efficient. The tool also must support expansion for new surveys to be added as needed.
Cloud Construct and PMI worked together to identify the best solution for their clients. The custom survey views were designed with percentage complete indicators and an easy to use interface. This allows employees of the airport to rapidly solicit feedback and keep the interaction with the customer efficient and easy.
Cloud Construct built the survey tool using ASP.NET Web API and a SQL Azure database for storage of results. This provided a strong backend for the product. Windows Azure was used as a hosting environment for scalability and reliability of data storage. We leveraged D3/C3 and Angular.js to show the reported data in custom views for managers. The Single Page architecture patterns provided by Angular.js allow for a very clean design of the survey tool to be developed while ensure run-time performance includes snappy interactions. Custom survey options are also supported by expanding the existing survey infrastructure. Managers may easily configure satisfaction alerts and new surveys on the fly.
The product has been deployed to airports around the country.